Wear Your Halloween Masks, the Greek Carnival Is Almost Here

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Wear Your Halloween Masks, the Greek Carnival Is Almost Here

The Greek Carnival is celebrated a bit different in each part of the country. Here’s how the people in Serres enjoy the passage from winter to spring.

Wear Your Halloween Masks, the Greek Carnival Is Almost Here

As winter fades and spring is near, something exciting is happening in Greece. The daily life is put on hold and people dress in costumes and wear masks to scare away the darkness of winter and celebrate the beginning of spring. It’s the Greek Carnival – aka Apokries. Carnival is celebrated in most parts of the world.

Traced back in its Latin origins, the word signifies a farewell to meat – carne (meat) vale (remove) and thus explains the approaching of Lent. Not only people dress up but also eat meat before the fasting period comes.

The highest point is Tsiknopempti while the last week is cheese week (Tyrine). During this season, the streets swamp with people. Masquerade parades and events are celebrated throughout the country and Serres in northern Greece is famous for its Carnival customs.

The Babogeri at the center of the Sidirokastro Carnival

If you like to experience the traditional Carnival in Greece, you can visit Sidirokastro in Serres. Once you settle at Agnantio Hotel, you can join the local festivities of the Babogeri. This tradition goes back in centuries.

People wear black and brown sheep leather costumes, hang bells around their waist, put on 3-meter pointed hats decorated with ribbons and beads, and dance to scare the darkness away and bring prosperity and happiness to the village. The loud sound of the bells and the scary costume disturb the bad spirits and drive them away.

The Carnival traditions in other villages in Serres

The events in Serres vary from region to region. From the Dervena in Proti and the Kalogeri in Saint Helen to the Fani in Houmniko and the Ketsekia in Potismeno, the traditional Carnival events are interesting, colorful, and joyful.

The costumes are beautiful, the pranks are hilarious, and the ceremonies excellent for both children and adults – all until the masks come off. Perhaps this year you participate too!